There was never any doubt that I was being selfish. I have known this from the start. I guess it was, in part, because I felt owed. I wanted something more for myself. I felt that our lives revolved around Joel and the life he always wanted so I thought it was my time to even things out. It is not really that black and white but that seems to be the only way I am able to describe it.
All of this changed when I saw Jackson at the restaurant.
It’s funny because you would think that I would have been jealous or upset or even heartbroken. And believe me there were bits of that. However, after my initial shock and overwhelming fear what I truly felt was selfish. I know that Jackson loves me. I know he would choose me in a second if I would let him. And I know that my happy family dinner was probably too much for him to bear.
I know that I have done this to him. I made the choice to pursue him while still in my marriage. I have always been honest with him about my confusion and fear of leaving my life and I thought I was being honest and fair. But what I realize now is that the opposite was true. I was giving him nothing. He couldn’t have me, at least not in any real way, and he couldn’t have anyone else, not as long as he loved me and I kept coming back.
So, I have made a decision. I am going to tell Dr. C. about Jackson. I need to come clean to her so that I can do right by myself and by the people in my life that I care about. I need to do this for my kids and even for Joel. He is guilty of nothing more than being self-absorbed and I think I have likely trumped him on that by now. But I also need to do this for Jackson. I need to be able to give myself to him completely or let him go and find happiness with someone else without the shadow of me looming in the background.
As I walk into Dr. C’s office my heart is pounding. I am not sure I am ready to expose myself completely to her. I have a feeling that my role as the victim in this situation, hard done by and forgotten in my marriage, is about to be revealed as somewhat flawed. If I look at the facts too clearly I start to see myself as I fear others might, selfish and deceiving. I know these things are true but I also know there is much more to it than that. And then I wonder, does that really even matter? Will it matter to Dr. C? To Joel? To my children?
But then I stop and force myself to look away. I can’t get bogged down with guilt and self-doubt. Not now. Not when I am just starting to make progress and figure this out.
As I sit and wait to be called in I close my eyes, just for a minute, and take a deep breath. What I feel is a sense of peace, of knowing. I see now that I have rendered myself helpless. I have done this to myself. I have become a victim of my own creation. All this time I thought I was powerless when, in fact, I was the puppet-master weaving a pathetic tale to suit my sadness.
And then the door opens and Dr. C calls me in. It is my time.